The 2013 National Basketball Association season has officially tipped off, and the chase for the Larry O’Brien trophy is underway. As the season begins to unfold, all 30 teams have chances to make a run for the playoffs.
The season officially started on Oct. 29 as two key games unfolded on day one. The showdown at the Staples Center in Los Angeles took place with the Lakers and Clippers, two contenders with a growing rivalry, fighting for bragging rights. The Lakers beat the new-look Clippers, now under the wing of coach Doc Rivers, without superstar Kobe Bryant who is still nursing a torn Achilles.
Then, on the other side of the country, the new and improved Brooklyn Nets are attempting to make a run for the championship with an older more experienced squad. The Nets are struggling as of now, with a 1-2 record and are without head coach Jason Kidd, who is serving a suspension for a recent arrest for a DUI. Kidd has completed his suspension and will be expected to be on the sidelines for the next game.
Then of course there is the return of Chicago Bull’s point guard Derrick Rose, a former MVP whose return has been anticipated since last year. Rose and the Bulls took on the back-to-back champions, the Miami Heat in the season debut. The Bulls lost, but fans are thrilled with how Rose looked in game one.
“He looks like he got faster somehow. With Rose back the Bulls are automatic contenders in my opinion,” said Ramapo senior Samuel Maruscak, an avid Bulls fan.
The Miami Heat are currently 1-2, and suffered an uncharacteristically sloppy loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, a team projected to win about 16 games this season according to reports by ESPN. The Heat are the obvious favorite to win the championship once again, even after losing to the 76ers and the Brooklyn Nets.
Another comeback story is Russell Westbrook, the young point guard for Oklahoma City who tore the meniscus in his knee last season. Westbrook scored 21 points against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday while dropping seven assists in the victory. Westbrook was a key piece to the Thunder’s run to the NBA Finals in 2012 and his absence was one of the biggest reasons the Thunder was wiped out of the playoff race early last year.
Every team has started their climb to a playoff run in June, and at this point anyone is fair game. Whether it is the battle for New York or Los Angeles, or California adding the Golden State Warriors to the mix, there are rivalries growing all over.
“It’s the first time in a while that it is all kind of up in the air. Anyone can really win this year, and it makes it that much more interesting,” said Gregg Goode, a Ramapo senior.
Every team wants the chance to hoist that trophy above their heads, but for some franchises it may be more about grabbing the phenom wingman out of Kansas University, freshman Andrew Wiggins who has been called the next Lebron James by scouts. The 2013-2014 season has everything the average, and fanatic, NBA fan could ever hope for.